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You might be under the impression that crochet design is a free flowing process from inspiration to finished project. It often involves more blockades then you’d expect.
I’ve been interested in Faroese knitted shawl construction for some time. I had decided that I wanted to take the construction concepts for knitted Faroese shawls and adapt them to crocheted shawls. I painstakingly swatched and planned out a gorgeous shawl involving 3 different stitch patterns and a unique continuous border construction. It is not possible to put into words how excited I was about this project- until I started making it.
I spent more time frogging than I did stitching. The problem wasn’t the planning- my idea was fine. I just kept making silly mistakes every single row (sometimes multiple times, every single row). Now when challenges arise, I meet them head on. But in this case, I honestly felt like the universe was telling me this just wasn’t meant to be right now. So I quit.
But you can’t just quit a project you fall in love with. I had these beautiful stitch patterns I had developed. How could I let them wallow in the obscurity of my filing cabinet? How could I let all that effort go to waste? So I decided to use them for something else.
My favorite stitch pattern of the three is being turned into an enclosed cape*. I’m writing the pattern for both a sock weight and a sport weight version and adding in an optional beaded edging. The beaded edging has beads added as you crochet. (No pre-stringing required.) So, I’ll be adding photo tutorials to the pattern for that technique, and likely video tutorials for it to the website soon.
I still have no idea what to name it. I was thinking of Alice, but I’m not quite sold on that. Any thoughts?
*”What is an enclosed cape?” you ask. It’s a poncho. But I can’t say “poncho” because it makes me think of hippies** and bad 70s acid trips. So I say enclosed cape, because it sounds prettier.
** I have nothing against hippies. I lived in tie-dye during college.
I love the designs of that enclosed cape! (Funny, when I hear poncho, I think a cheap plastic thing worn out in the rain.)
I prefer the colors of the Madelinetosh but adore how the beads show up in the Flock Sock!!
Personally, I like the name “Alice.” 🙂
being a crochet designer, too, I’m always fascinated by how others design, because I so don’t plan ahead of time like I think most other designers do. I design on the hook, frog, frog, frog, grab another ball of yarn, recrochet from the beginning, crochet some more, pick up the first swatch again… it’s such a crazy inefficient method (I think to myself sometimes) but then I hear stories like yours, that even most well laid out plans don’t always succeed…
everyone does it differently. i’ve often heard your method referred to as “organic” design. i go back and forth between designs with a lot of pre-planning and with little pre-planning. i enjoy both ways. they each have their ups and downs.
Beads on crochet can go two ways: either you can go high contrast so they “pop” or you can go with the same color/shade as the yarn so it just gives hints of shine.